Social media / Startups / Transportation

GreaseMonkey Mobile wants to be your friendly neighborhood car repair app

How the app with nationwide ambitions uses social media to spread the word.

The GreaseMonkey Mobile team at DC TechDay 2014. (Photo via Facebook)

#ThrowbackThursday gets all the headlines but let us introduce you to #CarTipTuesday.
If you’re following GreaseMonkey Mobile on Instagram, this means you’ll find a helpful hint on replacing windshield wipers, increasing gas mileage or some other aspect of car maintenance in your feed today.

GreaseMonkey Mobile is an app and web tool that allows users to find, compare and book appointments at small to medium sized independent car repair shops in their area. “We allow drivers to save time and money when looking for auto services,” GreaseMonkey CTO Bradly Joseph said.

We want to be a household name in auto repair services.

But GreaseMonkey doesn’t just want to help some drivers some of the time. The company that launched the first version of its app at DC TechDay 2014 and recently unveiled a relaunch at DC TechDay 2015 has bigger goals than that. “We want to be a household name in auto repair services,” Joseph said.
The kind of social interaction seen on #CarTipTuesday is just one way the team at GreaseMonkey is trying to accomplish this goal and win out over marketplace competitors like RepairPal.
Another distinction, according to Joseph, is GreaseMonkey’s in-app features. In addition to allowing car owners to find shops and see area deals, the app provides notifications for service updates, a cloud repository for car-related information and in-app messaging between the car owner and shop. In addition to photo and text messages, users will now be able to send audio messages — perhaps of that one weird sound their car won’t stop making.
From the user’s side, the utility of an app like GreaseMonkey is apparent — cars break down. But the app also has to appeal to auto shops. The team at GreaseMonkey is working to do this by maintaining a reasonable fee (their premium service is $12.99 a month) and allowing shops to decide which features they’ll use. A shop needn’t enable in-app messaging, for example, if that goes beyond their capacity.
There’s still a long road ahead for this would-be household name. GreaseMonkey currently has over 100 shops and around 600 users, primarily concentrated in D.C. but with some in Atlanta — the company’s newest market.
Joseph admits that getting the word out is a challenge. “We primarily use word-of-mouth and social media,” he said. So again, interacting directly with as many customers (and potential customers) as possible is key.
GreaseMonkey wants to go nationwide in the near future, but it’s keeping an eye on the East Coast for now, and thinking regionally. “Maybe Baltimore, for example, would make sense next,” Joseph said.


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